Congress MP for special Parliament session to discuss `right to reject` issue

Rejecting `right to reject` concept, Congress MP made strong plea for special session of Parliament to discuss Supreme Court order on issue, which he claimed would weaken "representative democracy".

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 12, 2013, 01:13 AM IST

New Delhi: Rejecting the `right to reject` concept, a Congress MP on Friday made a strong plea for a special session of Parliament to discuss the Supreme Court order on the issue, which he claimed would weaken "representative democracy".
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Bhalchandra Mungekar said such a session was needed as "giving fundamental right to voters to reject all candidates will further erode the very foundation of representative parliamentary democracy and also create operational chaos".

Criticising the Supreme Court order, the former Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University said, "Apex court`s view of right to vote is `statutory` and right to reject is `fundamental` amounts to argue that right to reject is more sacrosanct than the right to vote.

"This view is flawed because right to vote is the heart of representative parliamentary democracy."

Claiming that the apex court contradicts its own order, he said the court order says the negative votes will be recorded on the EVMs, but won`t be counted and if more than 50 per cent voters reject all candidates and demand re-election, then re-election has to be ordered.

"Only recording negative votes and not counting them will have no impact on result of the election then the exercise is futile. The provision of holding re-election in case of more than 50 per cent negative votes demanding it would run counter to the provision of mere recording negative votes," he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP added that giving right to reject is not a remedy, but it is the negation of the essence of democracy. Instead, the voters should be educated to create a strong and enlightened public opinion as to force the political parties to project candidates with a clean and unembellished character and integrity.

A copy of the letter has been sent to the President, Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha Speaker and leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses.